[Mock-Fiction] V - Fures Misericordiam

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

Aye. Tis me again.

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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29. 27 – Smarting Lips

The spicy smell of curry filled the air, as did the drunken singing of pirates.

Funny, thought Mariqah, as she sat in the corner table of the Old Avery, quietly trying to read a book, if they weren’t so wasted, they might actually sound a’right.

 

Drink with me,

Many years gone by –

To the life

(To the life!)

That used to be.

 

At the shrine of friendship,

Never say bye,

Let the wine of friendship,

Never run dry:

 

Here’s to you –

(Here’s to you!)

And here’s to me.

 

Mariqah drank from her bitter cup of liquor, wrinkling her nose, before leaning back and reading again.

“Ah, Mari,” she heard Edward call, “my lips are still smarting from that broth you made.”

Mariqah looked up from her book and smiled as Edward sat opposite her, “Aye. You’re still a little red, Kenway.”

“My tongue still burns.”
“I told you, you’d never forget my cookin’.”
“My mouth hurts, woman!”

“You’re wasted, man,” she said, “That, or all you bloomin’ English are the same.”

 

“I paid a fortune for those spices–”

“And tell me if it ain’t the best food you’ve eaten in all your life!”

“Aye, but it weren’t that good! To be costing thousands of reales, a tavern brawl and a sea battle!”

“Oi, those last two were of your own makin’, mate!” she reached for her drawstring resting under the table, and pulled out her purse, “And if your coins are so important to ye, I could pay your purse in full and double, mate. But our mannerisms ain’t like that in the future, so,” she flicked a few coins at him randomly.

He snorted, “I don’t need your charity, Mari.”

She laughed with him, “No. Perhaps you don’t,” they drank from their cups simultaneously.

 

Edward paused and gazed at her, pensively, “Why is merriment so… bereft of you, Mariqah?”

“What are you talking about, man?” she said, paying more attention to her book.

He rubbed his chin, “Haven’t I made you feel welcome?”

Mariqah closed her book, “As welcome as any land creature could be at sea.”

“Then why is your face such a sorry sight, eh? Don’t you know how to live heartily?”

“Must we talk about this? It ain’t going to make me any heartier.”
“I’m just curious.”
“I’ve…” she looked aside, holding her face in one hand, “I’ve left behind my responsibilities, Edward. I worry. My lads are in twenty-first century Normandy – an era and a continent away – waiting for me to come. Dante’s waitin’ in Masyaf, annoyed as hell with the man he’s playin’ for a friend – wondering where the Devil I am. And, God knows, the Timelords are waitin’ with sharpened cutlasses to slit my throat for jumpin’ in here with you. And no sign of the portal of my return. I can only abide here for so long, before everything burns to chaos in that world…” she paused, “I belong there, Edward – for all its trouble and all my hate for it – not here.”

He paused, “It ain’t your fault you’re here.”
“Aye. But no matter where the blame lays, I’m not supposed to be here all the same.”

 

“You courtin’ the feisty one, Kenway?” called Vane’s voice, drunken as a man could possibly be, “I tupped her first, lout!”

“Believe me, mate,” Mariqah called back, “if my eyes could shoot daggers, you’d be well dead and buried under ‘em!”

“Why’ve you such a dislike for him?” asked Edward.

“I know his future.”

“…Should I be wary of his company?”

“You’ll know. In time.”

“Why do you evade my queries? I wouldn’t ask them, if I meant them to be!”

“Because. I’m in enough trouble as it is, Edward.”

He frowned and then said, “Alright, tell me one thing.”
“Edward, I–”

 

“Just let me ask it!” he cut in, “Me and Caroline…”

Mariqah’s mouth dropped a little. This was a question she couldn’t answer even if she was allowed to. In truth, Edward’s wife, Caroline Scott-Kenway, died before he returned home to Bristol – holding his daughter, Jennifer, unbeknownst to him.

“Do things… fix between us?” he continued. Then he registered her reaction, “Tell me!”

“I…” she lowered her gaze, “I can’t, mate.”
“Oh, sod your mystics, Mari! This is my wife we’re talking about! The other half of my life!”

“You know it’s something I can’t tell you about!”
“Mari–”

“No, Edward!” angrily, she stood up and walked out of the tavern – taking her book and her drawstring with her.

 

Some of the near-by drunks glanced at Edward.

“N-Nancy boy,” muttered Vane.

 

* * * * *

 

Mariqah stared out at the night sky, leaning against the banister of the Jackdaw, dreaming idly.

Darim.

She hadn’t had much else to think about – since she couldn’t do much about the events in the modern world – but Darim’s wound appeared to be one that refused to heal, even marginally.

Oh, how she missed him!

And he wouldn’t even remember her – courtesy of the Pieces of Eden.

It was a feeling she couldn’t really describe. Ineffable. Empty.

 

On my own, pretending he’s beside me,” she murmured,

All alone – I walk with him ‘til morning.

Without him, I feel his arms around me.

And when I lose my way, I close my eyes – and he has found me.”

 

A hand touched her shoulder. She turned a little, and saw Edward pass a bottle of rum to her. He leaned on the banister next to her and mumbled with her,

In the night, the ocean shines like silver.

All the lights are misty in the water.

In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight –

And all I see is her and me: Forever and forever.”

 

And I know, it’s only in my mind –

That I’m talking to myself

And not to him.

And although I know that he is blind…

Still I say:

There’s a way for us.

 

I love her.

But when the night is over –

She is gone.

The ocean’s just some water

Without her –

The world around me changes:

The trees are bare,

And everywhere,

The seas are full of strangers.

 

I love him,

But everyday I’m learning –

All my life:

I’ve only been pre-tend-ing!

Without me –

His world will go on turning.

 

A world that’s full of ignorance,

That I have never kn-o-wn!

 

I love him.”

I love her.”

I love him.”

 

But only on my own.”

 

“I’m sorry, Edward,” Mariqah said after a pause, taking a sip of rum and then passing the bottle to Edward.

“I… I know, Mari,” he said, “I just… The only reason I’m out here…”

“Mate, really? Confessing to me?” she laughed, giddily.

“Right,” he scoffed, “right, erm… Why don’t you come back to the Old Avery, eh? I don’t see you talking to Thatch and Hornigold much.”

“Oh please, I’d rather not sing with your string of promiscuous drunks, thanks,” she laughed, “and, I don’t know, Blackbeard and Hornigold are men I respect on certain levels. They’re like myth and legend to me. Somehow, I think that meeting them in person might make them too human for me – ruin the image I have of them, see?”

“Oh, come on, Mari – you’re just shy!” he started pulling her away.

“Edward!”

“Don’t you dare say no, lass!”

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